While I didn’t mention it in my February Digits post, I was a little amazed in my running mileage total for the month. I’m supposed to be ramping up for a 100 mile race in 9 weeks and I can barely crank out 100 over an entire month? Heck, my total mileage for the month was down from January. Shouldn’t I be increasing my mileage? Yes and no. I based this training plan off my last one which worked well for me. I have been steadily increasing my long runs, however have not been increasing my intra-week mileage. February just happened to be a down month as I only had 2 long runs instead of my normal 3.
If you compare this year to last February, I’m down 70 miles or about 40%. I don’t really agree with the term “junk miles” because increased mileage can be beneficial. I think all the back-to-back long runs contributed greatly to my current endurance base, yet they had gotten to the point where they weren’t benefitting me. I now view the increased rest as being as good as the extra mileage. So if rest = more miles, the slacker in me will take rest any day of the week (and twice on the weekend!). I’ll probably end up going back and forth on the value of total miles in a tracking block several more times before I finally hang up my trail shoes, but for now I’m in the less is more camp.
Looking at my recent MAF tests, the lower mileage hasn’t impacted my running efficiency. My last test had me right at a PR. I haven’t gotten faster by running fewer miles, but I also haven’t gotten slower. I think there’s definitely a limit to how few miles I can get away with running and still maintain my current level of fitness. And it’s not like the 30-45 that I’m doing is nothing. It’s just a lot less than the 45-60 miles that I ran for a year or two. Total mileage is always something people look at (and it’s easy to track), however it’s less relevant to performance than what constitutes those miles. I guess you can read something on the internet time and time again, but it will never really mean anything until you actually put it into practice. Speaking of practice. . .
The next practice test (they just keep coming!) will be Sunday when I run the Naked Bavarian 40 Miler. Race preview coming later this week.
What’s your favorite Ashton Kutcher movie?